Single-Parent Families

Single-parent families are more likely than two-parent families to live in poverty. Not surprisingly, many of the participants in MDRC’s evaluations and demonstrations across policy areas are single parents and their families.

The Latest
Report

This program spent a little over a dollar to transfer one dollar in cash rewards to families who met the required benchmarks. These rewards produced positive effects on some outcomes, but left others unchanged. While the program benefited participating families, the cost to taxpayers exceeded the economic value of these effects.

Report

A program in Memphis and the Bronx offered cash incentives, coupled with family guidance, to poor families for meeting certain health care, education, and work milestones. The program increased income and reduced poverty, increased dental visits and health status, reduced employment somewhat, and had few effects on students’ education.

Key Documents
Report

This report from the national Employment Retention and Advancement Project examines the 27,000 single parents who participated in the studied programs to understand the characteristics of those who successfully advanced in the labor market.

Infographic

As the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs that serve poor and vulnerable families in the United States, the BIAS project demonstrated the value of applying behavioral insights to improve the efficacy of human services programs.